Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, fulfilled an intense European tour in the week ending today, during which he made official visits to France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
In each of these countries, Rodríguez was greeted by several major government authorities. During the meetings, the parties exchanged views on various issues on the international agenda and expressed their interest in deepening their respective bilateral relations.
Have conducted ‘excellent bilateral visits’ said Rodriguez to media in Brussels, after calling ‘very useful’ the official two-day visit he made to France, the first stop of his tour.
In Paris, Rodriguez met President Francois Hollande and had a constructive dialogue in which both parts expressed the common desire to advance and strengthen bilateral relations in all areas of common interest, official sources said.
He also met with the Director General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Irina Bokova and discussed the state of the links between the Caribbean island and the Organization.
With French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, the Cuban minister exchanged different aspects of the international agenda as the preparation of the UN Conference on Climate Change (cop21) to be held in Paris in December.
They also discussed the preparation of its visit to Cuba next May President Hollande, described as historic, especially for being the first by a head of state Gallic to the Caribbean nation, it was said.
Rodriguez expressed to Fabius his country’s ‘gratitude for the French position regarding the cessation of the economic, commercial and financial blockade’ imposed by the US government against Cuba for over fifty years.
He remarked it is kept in complete application including financial aspects and includes humanitarian dimensions recognized by the president Barack Obama and clear violation of international law, he stressed.
He was also received by French Prime Minister Manuel Valls.
During the stay in Belgium, Rodriguez and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European of that country, Didier Reynders, held official talks.
The officials expressed the mutual intention to contribute to the success of the Second European Union-CELAC Summit to be held in Brussels in June. The Cuban visitor met later Prime Minister Charles Michel.
Another important moment of his visit to Brussels, were the talks with the head of European diplomacy, Federica Mogherini as part of the process to reach an agreement on political dialogue and cooperation with the regional bloc.
Mogherini said that to strengthen the relations between both parties, a round of political negotiations that will mark in next June the beginning of other meetings could be concluded later this year will begin.
For his part, Rodriguez stated he felt that ‘we have made progress, we have advanced into a mutually respectful constructive spirit, on a reciprocal basis to a strengthening of relations and comprehensive cooperation between the European Union and Cuba, and have also reviewed the matters relating to the negotiation of a bilateral cooperation agreement ‘.
Rodriguez’s tour also included Luxembourg. There he was received by His Royal Highness the Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg.
He met with Prime Minister and Minister of State for Communications and Religious, Xavier Bettel Affairs; and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Immigration and Asylum, Jean Asselborn.
Cuban Foreign Minister also had a busy schedule in the Netherlands. He was met by Prime Minister of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte; and he held official talks with his counterpart Bert Koenders, and other senior officials.
He also met with the director general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, Ahmed Üzümcü.